Sky has jumped the gun with it's long-awaited roll out of 4K UHD content, offering up two ultra high definition movies for download for those using its Sky Q Silver boxes.
It's not the full line-up quite yet, tucked under the Sky Cinema > Ultra HD tab of the Sky Q interface, nor is the choice between good-but-old Forrest Gump and new-but-naff Pixels exactly inspiring. But it's a week earlier than the stated August 13th 4K broadcast date, and does give an indication as to what the content going forward is going to look like – and how data heavy the downloads are going to be. The 4K version of Forrest Gump weighs in at a hefty 18.2GB for its 2h 16m length, while Adam Sandler's painful gaming comedy Pixels is 13.5GB for its 1h 41m runtime.
Related: How to Turn on Sky Q 4K Features
Early indications as to the image quality are top-notch though. While Forrest Gump looks a little soft (being captured and mastered in 4K rather than shot in it) but the more recent Pixels, for all its faults as a film, looks vibrantly colourful and detailed. For once, staring at Adam Sandlers mug for a couple of hours is as novel as it once was in the mid nineties.
4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD, for short) TV displays a more crisp image than the go-toFull HD 1080p standard most TV is now broadcast in. It runs at a resolution of 3840 x 2160, compared to Full HD's 1920 x 1080. To make the most of Sky Q Silver boxes' 4K feature then, you're going to have to fork out for a TV up to the task of pushing images at this higher resolution, so make sure your TV is capable of hitting those specs before splashing out on Sky Q solely for its UHD tricks. Once you've got one though, you can follow our guide on how to turn on Sky Q 4K features here.
As for live broadcasts in 4K on Sky Q, they'll kick off officially next week with the start of the Premier League on August 13th – though a pre-season match between Liverpool and Barcelona will be available tomorrow, too.